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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Police State and Prisons
No Po-lice Calls.........Ever!!!
This story is combined with details of the events surrounding the October 22nd Police Brutality Rally, Justice For Oscar Grant Rally the following day, and my detailed analysis of the entirety of police culture
“They (young men of color) are murdered twice, by the cops and……....... by the media!” Riveting words from D’andre, lead speaker following the march on October 22nd National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization of a Generation.
There is only one big difference between a holiday and a day of resistance. Holidays, families in all cultures are expected to rejoice themselves through celebration and festivities. On a day of resistance, however, people are not expected to rejoice themselves, whatsoever. The reason for no rejoice for many communities of color, poverty, indigenous, and in some cases, people of privilege is injustice.
A wide spreading injustice incurable from its own diseased divide and conquering system. A structure, with a certain culture as its iron fist, deeply spirited like wicked wolves, and pit bulls. (Though they’re often slurred and referred to as “pig.”)
A culture programmed by a political machine that generates repression, and oppression to the duress of the above said communities. Institutionalized in a robotic fascist form, we all become its victim, its casualty, or both:
(Resisting Linguistic Domination)
LA POLICIA (Spanish)
UN OFFICIER DE POLICE (French)
CONSTABLE (Commonwealth of Nations, other European countries)
October 22nd National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization of a Generation.
Or rather, "the po-lice" as we at POOR have slightly re-named it, because they crawl all over our lives everyday.
"No More Stolen Lives!"
People in response rally and support each other, each single year on this very day. Locally and globally, POOR Magazine/PNN re-ports on what this day means for the affected communities of this trendy terrorism through media, and sup-ports them with our presence. Most of my family of POOR, who've had experiences of po-lice terror trade war stories often, with one another. It feel at times as if we're gathered around a campfire telling horror stories. Except our "horror" stories are not fiction, and they each target a culture that targets us 24/7.
“If you don’t like Stop and Frisk!”
“Let me see you raise your fist!”
Chants from the October 22nd March.
A light rainfall began to descend upon me and my comrades after we arrived from San Francisco to Oakland. It would not prevent us from solidarity. We marched from 71st /International Blvd and doubled back after an approx. eight block walk. On this very corner was the tragic death of Brownie Polk by members of the Oakland Police Department. Hasting back and forth in carrying the POOR Magazine banner, while taking notes despite the raindrops; everyone chanted a particular question that makes one wonder if they (the Oakland Police Department) even knew the answer:
“O.P.D, what do you say?”
“How many kids have you killed today?”
“Can you imagine people having your back, and not SHOOTING you in the back?” D’andre yelled out to the crowd following the march.
This statement from D’andre hit my mind like a blunt force. When lives are stolen (killed) by po-lice officers, the media immediately demonizes the victims by broadcasting sins from their past. This goes without saying of Oscar Grant, killed in cold blood on January 1st, 2009, (barely two hours into the new year) by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle.
Over a year later, communities still defy an injustice of an alleged “justice” following an “involuntary manslaughter” conviction on July 8th, 2010. Though this is the first time a po-lice officer has ever been convicted in the State of California; the greatest dread by many communities is will Mehserle even serve time at all? The nature of the beast never cease to prowl within the legal system.
The next day, a rainfall increased even more into near showers as a huge turnout of communities rallied, outside Oakland City Hall at the Frank Ogawa Plaza. Community leaders, grassroots organizations, labor unions that organized this event, music artists, the family of Oscar Grant, their attorney John Burris, a live voice broadcast of political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale, myself and POOR, among many others were here to overwhelm this entire unjust judicial system, once and for all.
The sight of a human being (Grant) shot once in the back as he lay spread eagle on the ground, even as he was in compliance with the orders of a remorseless po-lice officer (Mehserle) had driven us to withstand any weather condition, at this point. Po-lice exemption from accountability has gotten us beyond the point of no return.
“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that he was murdered in cold blood.” Amy Dorris-Peter, a member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) said to me. She further explained stating, “I think its an inherent part of capitalism to have a brutally oppressive police force.”
When everyone repeated the chant “I am Oscar Grant” I hoped that no one took this lightly. Whether people were po-lice victims or not, this IS the reality. Believe it or not, Jesus Christ himself was a true testament to this for just speaking the truth.
The sight of twelve officers of the San Francisco Police Department storming into my Single Occupancy Hotel Room, at twelve midnight forcing me to lay spread eagle on my bed at gun point for a crime I didn’t commit is a testament to that reality. “All were armed with a lie, ready to gun down the truth.” I recently said during a presentation regarding my po-lice brutality experience.
When certain people are exempt from accountability and justice (in an unjust system) atmospheres of anger asserts an opposition. This particular act of injustice motivated by racist intent, has extended opposition even on a global level. “We’ve even gotten letters of support from France, Japan, and the British Parliament.” Stated Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant.
When crimes occur, and people are in crisis, po-lice quickly comes to their mind. Where does the officer's obligation really lie? Is it when they are salaried from every cent spent by tax payers to “to serve and protect” while they spill the blood of the innocent, and tax the back of the working poor? Or is it while ensuring that “quality of life” doesn’t interfere with wealthy class?
Everyone is entitled to safety, security, and sanctuary from harm. Its what our indigenous ancestors and elders have worked, shedded blood, and died for. Unfortunately, and as many people have even experienced, safety is too often selective. Politicians, celebrities, and authority figures are prioritized more than others.
“Can we envision ourselves collectively, interdependently, dreaming and holding our ancestors teachings?” is the question and challenge my mentor and POOR co-founder, “Tiny” Lisa Gray Garcia presents to the world in her article, “No Police Terror.” She offers an explanation to the answer to this solution, and the only one at best.
“How does this happen. It begins with us breaking through the hypocrisy of our own lives on the daily. Recognizing our own impulse to resort to po’lice calls in situations of struggle cause it’s easier and faster to solve a “difficult problem” But of course it’s much deeper than that.”
Thus, POOR Magazine/PNN practices absolutely NO PO-LICE CALLS EVER!! Instead, we collectively address accountability in a community circle, called “Family Council” oversighted by our indigenous ancestors.
During the Slave Era, when a black slave escaped, white slave catchers carried their lanterns, and sicced their hounds on them. Once caught, they were either lynched or severely beaten beyond humanity, as a punishment for their defiance to enslavement. In eras of unforgettable uprisings, such as the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, dogs, water hoses, and batons were (and still are) used as tools to torment marchers. Old World Order.
Present day, po-lice culture and its proponents have immobilized communities, backlogged oversight agencies, purposely prolonged court processes, implemented po-lice protect laws, routine-d rallies, and discouraged many from the will to fight back. Its trademark symbolism, globally and locally is not just unjustified "Use of Force" by an officer, but its visible detail of intimidation as well. Its members are men and women of color. New World Order.
An old saying goes, "To strike terror into the hearts of evil doers." Consequently, this can apply to anyone that’s viewed as weak and vulnerable. The image of individuals in a well-tailored uniform, bearing shiny stars (badge) broad shoulders, a militant masculine mentality, and armed with a gun.
A hierarchical attitude soon follows, with a voice sounding robotic-ally rehearsed, in fascist formulation. Like corporate mainstream media, just a few choice of words can dehumanize one’s spirit, especially when society perpetuates this culture as “role models.”
How can they possibly give lectures at schools knowing they’ve run houseless/landless people off of sidewalks, fined them for pushing shopping carts, sitting on sidewalks, harassing them for holding a newspaper (Street Sheet) for donations, evicting families from vehicles, (parking violations) racial profiling, and murdering the youth?
In cases involving women and children beaten, raped, tasered, and ultimately killed by po-lice officers, where can “justice” lie when the judicial system not only fail to convict, but refuse to do so even when these crimes are proven “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Instead, they’ve choose to recycle them through re-evaluation, re-training, and alleged admonishments.
Crimes cannot arrest crimes anymore than the blind can lead the blind.
The state of their mind in light of these instances is quite frightening, as well as their “mental health crisis intervention” towards a citizen.
“Asking the police to do mental health intervention is like asking a mortician to deliver babies.” Explains my comrade, director of Idriss Stelley Action Resource Center, mesha Monge-Irizarry. The death of her son Idriss who was felled 48 shots by S.F.P.D. Officers as he suffered a psychological breakdown prompted her activism against po-lice terror.
mesha even took a 15 week Citizen’s Training at the S.F.P.D. Academy where she was told “Remember, we are not psychiatrists, or social workers. We always shoot at center mass.” I personally feel that just like the military, they are hired for a terrifying purpose………...regardless if (and I do mean if) they truly want to “make a difference” and being a “good cop.”
At the Oscar Grant Rally, Chairman Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party recalled a past event in which a white po-lice officer actually did the right thing. In breaking down the “Blue Wall of Silence” the cop turned over secret files to the Black Panther Party, in exposing the F.B.I’s secret covert organization “Cointelpro” and their illegal activities.
Talk about revolutionary consciousness!
I offer a series of questions and even challenge them once they read (po-lice) my article. “Would this difference include telling the truth if your comrade brethren committed a crime? Would you be remorseful, do the right thing even if it meant your job and your life? Will you po-lice, on global levels do the same and disengage from oppression? Would you plea guilty and not “feel guilty” for your crime, unlike the pathetic claims of Johannes Mehserle following his verdict? Who’s life more sacred, yours…………....or mine?”
So very few seldom do.
Excerpt from a Proclamation by the People:
The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world, when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against outrages, and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness. Those days must be GONE……..and they can be.